Thursday, September 07, 2006

mess o stuff

I am aware that I am a bad friend Internet. I do not pay attention to you like I should and I promise that I have never sent any of you flowers, although I have never really sent any of my actual friends flowers either. hmmm, note to self, be more pro-active. I digress, I have been meaning to post but what I want to post about seems to elude me, that is to say, yet again I have forgotten how to link. Yep, that darn hyperlink just simply does not exist and that is not my fault. Really, I consider myself smarter than the average and why on earth I cannot grasp this simple task makes me want to beat my head in. Frustration to the max. So, you will need to trust me and go to and type in Obediah Parker and you will realize that his rendition of HeyYa by Outkast is one of my most beautiful things you will have heard in a while I guarantee. Let me know what you think.

My mind has been racing lately. I went on my friend Jonathan Christmans blog (you can get to it on the left hand side of this blog) and saw his photos of India and I just began crying. I have been pushing foreign missions out of my mind lately telling my self that this is where I am at, I am doing missions, how else can I prepare? I have been running from what God has called me to. It is an odd thing to be happy where you are at and see the good things that the Lord has provided and yet long with a longing almost too deep for words to be somewhere else. He has enlarged my heart for the nations and I am really trying to just be faithful where I am called at the moment.

Contrary to the popular belief I want to say that I have not forgotten about long term missions. I am here, learning how to serve the homeless and God is showing me more about his character through them than I could have ever guessed. I have grown to LOVE these people. I think in the tinniest idea of how parents can have their heart broken and be frustrated and angry beyond words by their children and yet would do anything for them. They daily challenge me with their questions and in turn I feel like I am asking for big answers from God. Questions like What is the Church?, What is helping and restoring dignity vs enabling? I also feel like I am ashamed of the church often times. I really don't know of many churches who really would honestly love the prostitute. They are not pretty, when you have been on drugs for 18 years and on the streets you rarely know how to behave in a manner that you get you by in a suburban church or really anywhere in public. I am learning that before I moved here I wanted to outcome of Pauls ministry without being willing to pay the price he paid.

I have struck up a friendship with 3 unlikely people and since I will be referring to them you should get an idea of who they are.
Jonathan: He is a wiccan and he read my tarot cards the other week. I was nervous because I have an unhealthy interest in that stuff so I just avoid it. He was the one who took almost a full weekend to show me my computer, never complains when I ask him to do something, always is kind, and is open to all things, all people and is gay. Jonathan and I have spoken a lot about God vs his High being. He asked me on my view of tarot and I explained that I believe that that has power and not the kind of power I want to tap into. He read my cards and we started talking about if things are predestined to occur or not. That tarot reading (that I prayed right through it) became the best witnessing opportunity that I have had in the last 10 years. Jonathans heart is vulnerable, he is not sure about heaven or hell, and he is hurt by almost everyone around him. Jonathan will say that being homeless is the best and the worst thing that has ever happened to him, he wonders if God has abandoned the people on the streets. Please pray for Jonathan.

Silas: Imagine a 70 year old white man with a tattered cowboy hat, a flannel shirt (red checkered) and tan pants and you have silas. I have met both of these men because they stay at the mens shelter and have to work in the kitchen with me on the weekends. Silas cannot read, he lost that ability after years of drug use caused a stroke and a hemorrhage and I believe there was an operation. Before this happened Silas loved to read the Puritans (seriously!) We bonded over the favorite book "a bruised reed." Silas had Robbie another gay male read him a chapter a night. Recently I found a bunch of old John Piper tapes among others and some men chipped in and bought him a tape player for him to listen to some solid theology. I have never seen an old man so happy. Now that I am thinking of it, if any of you have any old tapes (the sermons are free online available for download) and you would like to bless some others like Silas give me a shout out. Anyway, Silas has a troubled past, lives with 4 other veterans, has little to no Christian community and truly teaches me that "A bruised reed He will not break, and a faintly burning wick He will not quench;. He will faithfully bring forth justice." Isaiah 42:3

and last Nikki. Nikki has been a prostitute and a crack addict for 18 years, and she, with her first breath will tell you that the Lord sustains her and she has been clean for 4 days. She was clean for 2 weeks but then she used. Just imagine, it took my breath away to think of this. She has used crack/cocaine everyday for 18 years, she has been without it for 4 days. Nikki brings me joy. I have never seen her not smile or heard her complain. It also doesn't hurt that she tells me that I am beautiful daily. This woman talks loudly, speaks about Christ more joyfully that I have ever heard. Nikki does have believers in her life, her pastor and his wife visits her every other day, they pick her up, take her to church and they are proud of her. I love this woman and I know that this one, if she falls, has the power to break my heart.

I guess I just decided to post this random tirade because, Jesus loves the poor. He aches for the broken and I am realizing just how busy I have been trying to clean myself up for him and others. So run to him friends... find rest for your weary souls and stop trying to be someone else. I am going to leave you with lyrics to a song that sums up the problem of prostitution better than I could ever put into words, may it bring us to our knees in prayer:
What would you do
If your son was at home
Crying all alone on the bedroom floor
'Cause he's hungry?
And the only way to feed him
Is to sleep wit' a man
For a little bit of money
And his Daddy's gone somewhere
Smokin' rock now
In and out of lock down
I ain't got a job now
So for you this is just a good time
But for me this is what I call life

don't worry, I am aware that because this is a serious post I will get no response but I hope that is not the case. Comment, how else will I know anyone else has an opinion!


em said...

Missionary Schmissionary. Karla, you are God's, and He is yours.

You are a new creature, and so it doesn't matter if you "feel" like you're a missionary or not. You just are.

And you ARE doing long-term missions; it's called living faithfully. And sometimes, you're not on support from a church or friends to be a long-term missionary. In fact, the vast-majority of the time, you might live almost exactly like any of us. :-)

Don't feel like you need to explain why you are where you are to any of us. I think we trust that God is big enough to do His work in and through you no matter where you are.

karla said...

This, this is why you are one of my favorite people. Or is it that is why? I forget, anyway you are great. See you soon.

Liz said...

Karla -

Why would you think that because you post something serious people won't respond? This is exactly what we SHOULD be responding to - you are a gem! iam sure that the shelter where you work thanks God daily for you - if they don't, they should start! Think of the blessing that you are to those people and think of the blessings that you have found in a place that you least expected it. God is great!

Keep on posting those serious things and we look forward to seeing you soon - sorry I missed your call lately. Was on the school "pick-up" run. Yes, Mari and Gus are both in public school this year. I am the official homework helper vs. the homework assigner. It feels great and again, God is gracious in all situations.

See you soon my friend.